Click above for what became the consented plan, plus Transport page.


Bloomberg: "Office Builders’ City of London Bets Sour, as Banks Cut Jobs" (Hammerson affected?)

Link to web site

"Property companies including British Land Plc and Land Securities Group Plc restarted City of London office projects this year and last, betting that the increase in 2010 rents would continue into this year as the financial industry bounced back. The prospects have dimmed over the last few months, as Europe’s sovereign debt crisis and a stalling U.K. economy prompted companies to cut jobs and delay office moves.

"Hammerson Plc Chief Executive Officer David Atkins on Nov. 9 dismissed the idea that the company might delay the Principal Place development, calling it 'pure speculation'. The company is in talks with law firm CMS Cameron McKenna to lease part of the 16-story [sic] office building, and expects development to start in April or May next year."


Audit Commission's "Tough Times"

Link to Audit Commission

"Local authority planning, development and environmental services face major spending cuts during 2011/12, according to a detailed analysis of council budgeting compiled by the Audit Commission.

"The watchdog’s report, 'Tough Times', noted that councils are having to cope with both a reduction in central Government grant-aid, as well as a fall in income from fees and charges of five per cent in real terms. The report highlighted that local authorities are not targeting cuts in a uniform fashion, and that planning is one area where cuts will be disproportionate.

Page 30 says: "Planning represents 4 per cent of council spend, but will provide 22 per cent of the required savings."

"The commission concluded that spending on planning and development will fall by 28 per cent in single tier and county councils (STCCs) and 16 per cent in district councils, on average.

"Almost half of the savings needed in STCCs will come from planning, housing and cultural services, the report found.

"It found that STCCs facing the biggest cuts were most likely to target smaller services. 'Planning and development budgets will fall 50 per cent on average in these councils in 2011/12,' it warned. The report also made it clear that many district councils were increasing fees and charges. Some 40 per cent are targeting planning fees. Few planned changes in service standards or eligibility criteria, the commission noted.

"The commission stressed that services like planning and development could not deliver similar savings every year. 'Many councils will face difficult decisions about how to meet their funding shortfall in the next few years'."


The Guardian: "Retailers leaving 'wrong' locations"

Link to Guardian

"MANY SHOPS on the high streets have closed during the recession. Sir Philip Green set off alarm bells this week when he warned that up to 260 shops in his Topshop-to-BHS fashion empire Arcadia could close.

It was further bleak news for the UK's high streets, where one in seven shops already lies empty, and a spate of retail collapses from Habitat to TJ Hughes has left fresh scars.

Like other chains such as Marks & Spencer, Dixons and Mothercare, Arcadia has too many Dorothy Perkins, Evans and Miss Selfridge outlets on the 'wrong' high streets as the internet and huge malls redraw the shopping landscape."

The Guardian: 
"McDonald's quits Rochdale's ailing town centre"

LInk to The Guardian
"In Rochdale, the restaurant's windows are boarded and its familiar red and yellow sign, a visible landmark in the Lancashire town for 28 years, has been removed.

"Last week McDonald's shut up shop, joining a growing number of key businesses deserting the town centre, and in so doing, according to shoppers and some retailers, banging another nail in the coffin of its struggling high street.

"... Rochdale council knows it has a battle on its hands given the economic climate, but believes plans to build new council offices and a library, and convert the old council buildings into retail units to be open within two years will encourage rejuvenation and add diversity to the 200 retailers currently in the town centre."

It's December soon, and the 'Examination in Public' of Barnet's 'Core Strategy'...

"A statement of common ground is a written statement, prepared jointly by the Local Planning Authority and a consultee who objects to the Core Strategy Submission document. The purpose of the statement of common ground is to set out the agreed factual information, leading to shorter proofs of evidence and saving time at the Examination in Public.

"The statement should contain basic information on which the parties have agreed, such as the precise nature of the objection and proposed changes, a description of the policy/site, its planning history and the relevant planning policies in the Development Plan. The statement should not include opinion or comment. Matters which remain in dispute will be dealt with by the Inspector. The statement should complement the proofs of evidence and not duplicate them."

(Summary from Mid Suffolk Council) 

Brent Cross 'Statement of Common Ground' document (not all of which is accepted by Barnet) - two excerpts...

"It is anticipated that the BXC Development Partners are committed to progressing the project as quickly as reasonably practicable towards commencement of the development  delete here: "under the permission subject to securing the necessary planning approvals, highways orders, and site assembly. On the basis of these indicators, we expect that comprehensive re-development will commence in relation to Phase One at some time between 2015 and 2017." 
[We say: This neglects the current tax-haven planning application, on Phase Seven land, which incidentally, will block all possible access by light-rail, past Phase One, for twenty years. Nice one, Hammerson!]

"The [BXC development] phasing is consistent with the Indicative Phasing Parameter Plan approved as part of the BXC planning permission. Condition 4.2 of the planning permission permits variations to this phasing, subject to satisfactorily addressing a number of tests. Hence the exact composition of each phase may change to that summarised. 

"Status of Brent Cross – Cricklewood Proposal:
In the event that the development envisaged does not proceed, the Core Strategy... the saved UDP policies (Chapter 12) and the Development Framework..."  
[This is if Hammerson walks away.]

Click either nose below, to read the Common Ground 'Fully Monty':

Barnet Local Development Framework: Core Strategy:
"Statement of Common Ground between
London Borough of (Broken?) Barnet
and the
Brent Cross Cricklewood Development Partners" (Boo! Hiss!)

The Examination in Public will take place from
Tuesday 6 December
Wednesday 14 December
in Committee Room 2 at Hendon Town Hall.

Hammerson and Standard Life: Coopy and Jenky do well

Peter Cooper, Hammerson Portfolio Director said:
"It is vital for retail destinations to attract new brands and retail formats which continually evolve the retail mix. Brent Cross's continued strength of retail sales and consumer appeal is based on this. After 35 years of trading, Brent Cross continues to be on the top of retailers' list for launching new formats and delivering retail innovation."
Ed Jenkins, Head of UK Retail at Standard Life Investments:
"Given the UK's tough trading environment, attracting the launch of a totally new brand from an established international retailer is a ringing endorsement for Brent Cross." 
Brent Cross retail 'firsts'
  • Massimo Dutti, Brent Cross - First UK store (2002)
  • Baby Gap, Brent Cross - First new worldwide concept store (2002)
  • Hugo Boss, Brent Cross - First UK store (2003)
  • Wagamama, Brent Cross - First UK shopping centre location (2004)
  • Gap, Brent Cross - First new concept store in Europe (2007)
  • Rigby & Peller, Brent Cross - First UK shopping centre store (2007)
  • Hollister, Brent Cross - First UK store (2008)
For further information contact:
Catrin Morgan, [Morgy] Hammerson PR Manager.


Hammerson's Atky (fresh from Euro-Trash) appears on LBC

Posted by James Max on November 26, 2011 at 11:18AM

"... We also looked at the retail market. David Atkins CEO of Hammerson joined us to look at the retail market. As owners of many shopping centres including a big chunk of Brent Cross the messages are clear. We are looking at a more polarised market. 

"The very local shop may survive and so will large shopping centres. In between? That’s where the squeeze will take place. 

Theo Paphitis the Chairman of Ryman, owner of Boux Avenue and Dragon warned that we are facing difficult times, and are probably already in recession again. However, what he did say is that good shopping locations and great service were the keys to success."


The Church of England: "A Christian presence in every community"

Link to Planning Jobs

"This is an exciting opportunity to work for one of the largest deliverers of community regeneration in London. The Church of England is taking a proactive approach to establishing its place in the future shape of London. The Strategic Development team requires an officer to support it in the delivery and development of future plans.

"You will support the Head of Strategic Development to facilitate the Christian mission of the Diocese of London, through appropriate response to, and involvement in major urban regeneration projects. This is twinned with work to provide additional and new resources to parishes engaged in community ministry/regeneration.

"London is seeing significant change as a result of the redevelopment and regeneration of areas such as Tottenham Hale, Brent Cross/Cricklewood, Kings Cross, Meridian Water, Earls Court and the Olympic legacy sites, amongst many."

Everything you wanted to know about Hammerson but were afraid to ask

Link to web site

"WMI's 'Hammerson plc - Company Capsule' is a crucial resource for industry executives, and anyone looking to access key information about 'Hammerson plc'.
[That's us! That's us!]

WMI's 'Hammerson plc - Company Capsule' report utilizes a wide range of primary and secondary sources, which are analyzed and presented in a consistent and easily accessible format. WMI strictly follows a standardized research methodology to ensure high levels of data quality, and these characteristics guarantee a unique report.

Planning Portal: "Government to back larger-scale projects to meet local housing needs"

"The Government has signalled it wants to encourage new, larger scale housing developments which could involve expansions of a few hundred dwellings, urban extensions or new ‘market towns’ with up to 10,000 new homes.

"Ministers plan to publish a prospectus shortly inviting councils and communities to identify opportunities for “locally planned large scale development, which will take advantage of streamlined planning processes, giving communities a stronger say and developers greater certainty”.

"This initiative was highlighted in the Government’s housing strategy, just published. This promised that viable schemes that were sustainable and had strong local support would be given financial assistance to get the work going, and would be prioritised for future infrastructure spending. The administration has announced there will be a competition to encourage new thinking in this area.

The document said:
"We are keen to see innovative approaches and a wide range of models and partnerships come forward, responding to local challenges. We will publish a prospectus setting out more detail of our proposed approach – what the Government is looking for from developers and local communities, and what we can offer in return – in 2012."
"The strategy also made it clear that the administration is keen to promote the use of tools such as Local Development Orders to help to streamline planning and reduce the risks and delay in securing planning approval for new residential development.

"The Government has reiterated that it wants to encourage action on stalled development by allowing developers to require local authorities to reconsider those S106 agreements agreed in more prosperous market conditions prior to April 2010.

"The Government said it would consult on this proposal shortly. “We will ensure that any resulting appeals are dealt with promptly by the Planning Inspectorate, to give certainty to both developers and local communities. The Government will also encourage a flexible approach to planning obligations, to safeguard against substantial and unexpected change in market conditions.”

"Housing Minister Grant Shapps said the Government’s strategy was designed to see the provision of 200,000 new homes a year.

Daily Telegraph: "Grant Shapps in on-air spat over housing figures" 

Link to Daily Telegraph, and audio file

"Listeners heard Mr Shapps enter into an extended on-air row with John Humphrys, presenter of the Radio 4 Today programme, over the suggestion that he avoided an earlier pre-booked interview about the issue.

"Mr Shapps was asked by Mr Humphrys about figures showing that the number of social homes being built in England had slowed to a trickle - which were published the day after the Government made a major house-building announcement."


Brent Cross: snooping or harmless monitoring?

Link to 'Mobiledia' web site

"Two malls in California and Virginia will be tracking shoppers by cell phones, as merchants seek to understand changing consumer behavior through technology.

"Large mall owners like London-based Hammerson [at Brent Cross], Indianapolis, Ind.-based Simon Property Group, and Australia-based Westfield group have all been experimenting with digital technology, to encourage shoppers to visit stores and reverse recent revenue losses.

"... Customers at the two U.S. malls will be alerted to the program by signs hung throughout the stores, and they can opt out by turning off their phones. Still, since there is no personal data beyond the signal that is being collected, managers believe few will chose to do so. Besides, there are often incentives for shoppers to keep their phones on while they browse." [The Brent Cross phone monitoring developers say there are signs at Brent Cross, but that this is not standard across their industry in the UK.]

[Reposted from August] Boris's Transport Strategy: Old Oak Common-to-Brent Cross (and beyond?) is on the radar (let Hammerson contribute)

Click to enlarge (source is here)

Evening Standard: "Topshop tycoon Sir Philip Green to axe 260 high street stores"

Link to the Evening Standard

"One of Britain's biggest retailers today unveiled plans to shut 10 per cent of its high street stores in a shattering new blow to the economy.

"Sir Philip Green, the retail tycoon behind Topshop, BhS and Miss Selfridge, said shoppers are so 'spooked' that he is being forced to close up to 260 shops - raising fears other chains will follow."

The Guardian: "National road charging is inevitable, warns head of UK motoring group"

Link to The Guardian

"A national system of charging people to drive on the roads is inevitable as part of a package of measures to cut congestion and pollution, Professor Stephen Glaister, head of the RAC Foundation, the UK's leading motoring lobby group, warned on Tuesday.

"Other areas [the Foundation] advocates are:
  • more electrified railway lines
  • a network of electric vehicle charging points 
  • more energy recovery from sewage sludge 
  • expansion of composting 
  • anaerobic digestion for food waste, and 
  • incineration, and longer term gasification or pyrolosis technology, to turn waste into transport fuel for lorries, which are harder to electrify.


Estates Gazette: "Hopes for Hammerson after Westfield wades into Whitgift, Croydon?"

Link to Estates Gazette

"Should we be feeling slightly sorry for Hammerson?
[Yes - we do all the time!]

"Yesterday's 'Develop Croydon' conference was all about Westfield. London Mayor Boris Johnson bounded on stage to tell everyone he was 'delighted' that Westfield had chosen Croydon to build their third London mega mall.

"...  And Hammerson's director of UK retail development Robin Dobson [Dobbo], was barely off stage, when Schroders' Ian Mason was busy telling everyone how Westfield was the best thing to ever happen to Croydon."

Estates Gazette:
"Croydon mulls land acquisition fund to tackle mountain of redundant office stock" 

"We need to rebalance the office offer."
Link to audio recording

"About a third of Croydon's office stock is old and redundant. That's a quite a lot.

"Jon Rouse, the council's well-respected chief executive, reckons that anywhere between 20% and a third of the town's offices need to be razed or refurbished."


BBC: "Will the government back a £50bn airport for London?"

Link to BBC London

"London Mayor Boris Johnson has set out the economic reasons why he believes a £50bn airport needs to be built in the south-east of England.

"Simon Walker, from the Institute of Directors, said the transport network was a 'complete disaster' and the country was falling behind European competitors.

"BBC London's Tom Edwards questioned Boris Johnson on whether the government was likely to back such an expensive project."


Wall Street Journal: "U.K. Retailers Feeling Less Than Festive"

Link to Wall Street Journal (registration required)

"The U.K.'s High Street is bracing for a frosty Christmas this year, and has already kicked off a round of discounting to encourage customers to splash out their hard-earned cash.

"Lawrence Hutchings [who he?], managing director of UK retail at commercial-property developer Hammerson [oh, him!], said stores with strong online presences were best placed to deliver better results."


[After Hammerson's Lord-Mayor-of-London-Gate] "More allegations emerge over links between senior elected representatives and major property firms"

"The Guardian reported last week that the corporation has invested at least £100m of public money in land purchases that opponents claim will enhance the value of neighbouring developments by Hammerson, the property company that has employed [Hammerson's and Finchley's Michael] Bear since [2003]."

Link to The Guardian

"The City of London Corporation is facing fresh conflict of interest questions over links between senior elected representatives and property developers involved in major projects in and around the Square Mile.

"The latest case involves a member of the corporation's planning committee with an alleged conflict of interest over his links to a property company given permission to go ahead with a disputed development.

"British Land, one of the UK's largest property development companies, was given a green light in April for the construction of a huge £340m headquarters for the Swiss bank UBS .


Evening Standard: "Brent Cross attacked for 'selfish' end to free parking"

Actually the story doesn't seem to justify all of the headline. AND it is from 2009. Whatever.

Link to web site

"Brent Cross shopping centre has offered to scrap its free parking, to counter fears that a major redevelopment will cause traffic jams.

"David Howard, chairman of the Federation of Residents' Associations of Barnet, said: 
"We think it's an arrogant, selfish, money-centred scheme." [Other than that, ...]

Hammerson's still at the Lord Mayor of London's Top Table (but his bike's chained up outside)

Link to 'The Fall and Fall of Michael Bear'
(photo: The Guardian)


Evening Standard: "British Land today went one better than rival Hammerson"

Er, well, that's it really.

Link to Evening Standard

Daily Telegraph: "A short-term planning fix is a long-term blight" (Could have been written about Hammerson!)

Link to Daily Telegraph

"As politicians desperately search for escape routes out of the current economic crisis, the lure of the quick fix becomes ever more attractive than the need for sustainable long-term solutions. This threatens long-held achievements, such as the protection of our countryside. How easy it would be for the Government to publish the final version of its draft National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) more or less unaltered, using the current crisis as a smokescreen.

"... Take Freiburg, in Germany, too – famous for how it is organised around the needs of its densely accommodated population, for energy, transport and jobs. Trams and bikeways take people to work, while half of the city’s energy is generated from solar panels and waste processors. Surely, this offers us a model for the future of our own towns and cities."


Hammerson and Westfield: It ain't over till the Fat Developer sings

Tram stop paid for by Centrale shopping centre.
Link to 'The Independent on Sunday'

Croydon is set to become a battle ground for two retail developer titans, as Hammerson vies with Westfield to be the developer of a giant shopping scheme in the town.

Hammerson, whose share price stood at 399.8p on Friday, went on a buying spree at the start of the year, scooping up a £400m portfolio from Kuwaiti property company St Martins. The haul included the Centrale shopping centre in Croydon. It is keen to be involved in any new development in Croydon, as it would not want Centrale to be overshadowed.

One expert said:
"Westfield has the expertise and the balance sheet, and with the success of their two centres in the east and west of London, they would be good for Croydon. They have proved they can deal with complex land ownership rights and get a scheme developed." [Whereas Hammerson ...]

Taken up by NASDAQ and CITYWIRE.

The 'public' private land of Brent Cross?

The Observer: "The London River Park: place for the people or a private playground?"

"The London River Park is a proposed floating green space on the Thames that could be ready in time for the Olympics. But is it really a 'public' amenity? Our architecture critic charts the stealthy rise of pseudo-public spaces" 

"[This is] the latest example of a widespread type of the 21st century, the pseudo-public space, in which the City of London and its satellites are world leaders. The Broadgate development of the 1980s was a pioneer, followed by Canary Wharf, Paternoster Square next to St Paul's, and the More London development where City Hall, the headquarters of the Mayor of London, stands. In each, the shapes and attributes of town squares are imitated – an oblong or round shape, outdoor art, cafe tables, fountains – and sometimes real public assets are created, but ultimate control is in the hands of private landowners.

"As Anna Minton pointed out in her book Ground Control, they control security, access, and rules of entry. Activities and people deemed undesirable, such as photography with a tripod, public displays of affection, picnics, or chaining up a bicycle, are banned. Or public protest, and you don't have to wish to protest yourself to sense the oppressive feeling that things are prohibited."


[Reposted from September] 'Building' (building.co.uk): "Westfield Stratford City - Maxing out"

Link to 'building.co.uk'
(limited access without registering)

"It also contains 1.1 million sqft of office space, the UK’s largest casino, three hotels, over 50 restaurants, 5,000 parking spaces, its own bus station and a 17-screen 3D cinema capable of screening films on request. Westfield has also forensically identified a catchment area of 4.1 million residents stretching as far as Hertfordshire and Sussex.

"The 100-acre wider Stratford City masterplan also envisages an additional 1 million sqft of retail, 5 million sqft of offices and 16,000 homes. So Westfield Stratford City is not just a shopping centre; it is city-engineering on a monumental scale, and the starting pistol for the creation of a brand new London neighbourhood." 

Link to 'building.co.uk'

[Whereas, Brent Cross, in the London Borough of Barnet, is an imposed,
car-based, dated and unwanted scheme, of dubious merit.

Other than that, ...]

Overground to Stratford
Click above to enlarge
(graphic: David Bleicher)

BBC: "Thousands parade for City of London Lord Mayor's Show" (Michael Bear's on his bike back to Finchley)

Link to BBC web site

"More than 6,000 people have paraded on the streets of central London as part of the Lord Mayor's Show.

"Minor alterations were made to the route because of the ongoing anti-capitalist Occupy London Stock Exchange (OLSX) protest outside St Paul's Cathedral. The new Lord Mayor was blessed in a different area of the central London cathedral's grounds, away from the OLSX protesters.

"An alternative event, billed as the Festival for the People, was organised by OLSX protesters with speakers including Professor David Harvey of City University New York and John McDonnell MP. As part of the event, the Rt Rev Michael Colclough, canon in residence at St Paul's Cathedral, joined the protesters in prayer after blessing new Lord Mayor Alderman David Wootton." 

Hammerson's PR Manager Catrin Morgan avoids the word "delighted" in praising Consense for 'Eastgate Quarters'. Plus a Leeds Fly-Through (unlike the rudderless, wingless, hapless Brent Cross plane)

"We wanted to provide an interactive way for people to see the new plans and engage in the consultation process." [As opposed to: "We will arrogantly impose plans at Brent Cross, thanks to the secretive arrangement we have with dysfunctional Barnet Council (1)(2)(3)(4)(5). And consultation? Bah!"] 

"Consense’s system is an excellent tool for managing the process and we’re keen to use Open Debate for future schemes too." [You are almost 'delighted', aren't you, Catrin?]

Link to Hammerson's Eastgate Quarters web site

Consense adds:
"Hammerson received planning consent in July 2011 for the redevelopment of Eastgate Quarters in Leeds from a brownfield site to a major shopping centre that will lift Leeds in the retail rankings.

"Hammerson adopted our Open Debate system to facilitate community consultation online, inviting website visitors to view the plans (including a CGI fly-through) and register to receive email updates, submit any questions or comments and complete a questionnaire. The website also features a discussion wall for users to post comments and questions for Hammerson to respond to.

"The online consultation launched in September 2010 and saw 243 register to take part, with 91% of those who completed a questionnaire pledging their support for the scheme.

"The Open Debate system records the feedback from visitors for Hammerson to manage and report on via a secure admin area. The admin area can also be used to manage the website content and the discussion wall."

055 - Eastgate Quarters Leeds from acme on Vimeo.

Punctuation Alert!
Punctuation Alert!
Hammerson's 'Discussion Wall' has absolutely no separation into paragraphs. Not in the questions. Not in Hammerson's answers.
Punctuation Alert!
Punctuation Alert!

Link to 'Discussion Wall'


Has Hammerson Regeneration Director and Lord Mayor of London, Finchley's Michael Bear, blown his knighthood?

Daily Telegraph: "It is not what you’d call a convincing start. Today, David Wootton takes office as the City of London’s [replacement] Lord Mayor, continuing a tradition dating back to 1189."

'The Lord Mayor is Dead, Long Live the Lord Mayor'
Link to the Daily Telegraph

"To summarise the charge sheet: the Corporation is a plutocratic old boys club, in hock to big finance that’s masonically secretive and blind to the City’s excesses. Not only is reform long overdue, but abolishing the Lord Mayor would be a top place to start.

"Wootton relates how the previous Lord Mayor, Michael Bear, has had a 'year-long initiative called Restoring Trust in the City'. To the observation that it doesn’t seem to have worked, Wootton responds that while Bear’s work was 'away from the public gaze', the next phase is 'much more public'.

"... The Corporation’s cash buys land beyond the Square Mile for future City expansion. This week it found itself denying reports that it spent £100m redeveloping Spitalfields to the benefit of Hammerson, the [Brent Cross] property company that employs former Mayor Bear.

"Wootton praises the transformation of the 'derelict' Spitalfields site, before volunteering that 'my offices [at Allen & Overy] are there by a total coincidence'.

"So, a case of the old Mayor’s employer building a new office for the new Mayor’s firm? 'Well, exactly. Wonderful. Wonderful,' is Wootton’s initial response – before stressing neither he nor Bear was directly involved in the Spitalfields project."

Link to

Hammerson plans major environmental redesign of £4-billion Brent Cross car-based scheme*

* No, not really.

The Guardian: "BioRegional Quintain to be wound up" 

Link to The Guardian

"The UK's highest-profile sustainable developer, BioRegional Quintain, is to be wound up after its parent company, the property developer Quintain, decided to focus on the London market.

"BioRegional Quintain, originally set up as a joint venture by the influential environmental charity behind 'One Planet Living' and Quintain in 2005, will finish the 80-home first phase of the Middlehaven scheme in Middlesbrough, and then wind itself up."


Hammerson out-westfielded again - this time in Croydon

Evening Standard: "Westfield heads south of the river to Croydon"

Hammerson's 'Centrale Centre', Croydon (Hammerson photo)
Link to Evening Standard

"Westfield is planning to open a huge 1.5million sq ft shopping centre in Croydon, that would be the biggest in south London.

"The announcement was welcomed by Mayor Boris Johnson, who said:
"Westfield is already defying the economic downturn in east and west, and I am delighted they are now looking south. Croydon has huge potential."

Daily Telegraph: "Eurozone crisis could hit UK property values"

"One of Central London's largest landlords, Great Portland Estates (GPE), has warned the European sovereign debt crisis could cause commercial property capital values in the city to fall, and major development projects to be cancelled." 

Hammerson's visualisation of Tempelhof Avenue, Brent Cross?
Link to Daily Telegraph

"Toby Courtauld, GPE chief executive, said yesterday that economic conditions and business sentiment have 'worsened' since the summer, leading to some businesses scrapping a search for new office space and putting pressure on rents.

Mr Courtauld said he expects 'secondary and overpriced assets to see a price correction as buyers become more discerning'.

"However, he added, prime properties will benefit from a 'supply crunch' of new offices and London's status as a 'safe haven' amid the economic uncertainty."


Mike McGuinness, and the Hammerson Career Graveyard of Brent Cross [Reposted]

The Brent Cross Coalition 
'Short Straw Award'

Link to press release

"Mike McGuinness is currently Development Director at Hammerson, and since 1985 has specialised in major retail-led urban regeneration projects across the UK, covering all aspects of the development process, including site assembly, planning, design and delivery.

"Major award winning projects include White Rose, Leeds, Canterbury and Exeter.

"Mike is currently leading the Regeneration of Brent Cross Cricklewood which recently received planning consent for mixed-use development of 14million sq ft."

We say: Who could forget the conversation that preceded his appointment? (as in the Jonathan Miller/Peter Cook sketch):

(Cook) "McGuinness!" [Michael breaks away from the singing] "Sorry to drag you away from the fun, old boy. Brent Cross’s not going very well, you know."

(Miller) "Oh my God!"

(Cook) "Making money from development is a psychological thing, McGuinness, rather like a game of football. You know how, in a game of football, ten men often play better than eleven?"

(Miller) "Yes, sir."

(Cook) "McGuinness, we are asking you to be that one man. I want you to lay down your [career], Michael. We need a futile gesture at this stage. It will raise the whole tone of the development. 

Get in a taxi, McGuinness, pop over to north Cricklewood, take a shufti, don’t come back."

"Goodbye, McGuinness. God, I wish I was going too."

(Miller) "Goodbye, sir – or is it – au revoir?"

(Cook) "No, McGuinness."

Link to
'My letter to Parliament'

HurleyPalmerFlatt (as opposed to HuntleyPalmerDigestive): Hammerson and future offices - don't count on any being at Brent Cross

First, the Starter:
(The music may be annoying, but look forward to 4 minutes, 59 seconds - when it stops)

Then the Main Course:
Martin Jepson of Hammerson
(So shocked was he at being interviewed that he then promptly resigned.) 

'London Loves Business': "[Hammerson] Lord Mayor in row over major [Hammerson] development on City fringe"

Link to 'London Loves Business'

"Fireworks begin too early for the City of London Corporation"

"This Saturday, the 684th lord mayor will be inaugurated to great fanfare, at the annual Lord Mayor’s Show at St Paul’s and the Victorian Embankment.

"But while mums and dads sip mulled wine and prop little ones up on their shoulders, fireworks of a less welcomed nature have already begun, as campaigners accuse the current lord mayor, Michael Bear, of pursuing a major conflict of interest over land purchases.

"Members of the Barbican Association are questioning the City of London Corporation’s decision to allow a major development in the Barbican area – London Wall Place – arguing that the developer, Hammerson, was given the green light, despite local opposition, because Bear is a Hammerson employee."


'Professional Housebuilder & Property Developer' magazine: Eric Pickles and weighty matters

Link to magazine web site
(this article is in the Nov/Dec 2011 issue, now on sale)

"In mid-September, Secretary of State Eric Pickles gave a presentation entitled: 'Homes to be Proud of'. The Minister declared: 
"This Government came to office with a wholly new approach. ...

"Planning needs to be positive. It needs to help, and seek out, and deliver responsible, careful development that the country needs. Properly planned development is a benefit, not a burden. ...

"Localism is here to stay. No developer can rely on strong-arming. ... The best already know that if they work with people, if they work with communities and get into proper partnerships, they will build something that everyone will be proud of. If you are able to listen to local communities, you'll give them what they want, and they're more likely to say yes.

"Whereas, if you are as greedy, blinkered, arrogant, and dysfunctional as Hammerson, then..." [Oh, all right, we make this bit up.]

Retail Gazette: Hammerson says retail polarisation continues (there is a squeezed middle), but the Frogs are doing worse

Link to Retail Gazette

"Retail footfall and sales down for Hammerson"

"Shopping centre and commercial property owner Hammerson has seen overall occupancy across its portfolio stabilise over the last quarter, with a slight rise in retail vacancies, according to results issued today.

"David Atkins, CEO of Hammerson, said:
“Over the period, the economic environment has weakened and consumer confidence has fallen in both the UK and France. Nevertheless, we continue to deliver on our strategic objectives of maximising income growth, and creating value from our high-quality portfolio, whilst reducing costs and retaining financial flexibility.”


The Guardian: The Rise and Fall of Hammerson's Michael Bear, Lord Mayor of London

"City property deals benefit a developer [Hammerson] linked to [Finchley's] Lord Mayor [of London]"

Link to The Guardian

"The City of London Corporation has invested at least £100m of public money in land purchases that opponents claim will enhance the value of neighbouring developments by the property company that employs the Lord Mayor.

"Hammerson, the property firm that employs Michael Bear, the Lord Mayor of the City of London, is simultaneously developing a range of neighbouring sites as part of what critics characterise as large-scale expansion of the City into new areas.

"... Elsewhere, residents who had fought against another City of London-Hammerson joint venture, near the Barbican, told of their frustration at having to go through a local authority that was also effectively developer of the project they opposed."

Link to multiple references to
the World of Michael Bear.